PORT ALBERNI, British Columbia, Aug. 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huu-ay-aht First Nations (“Huu-ay-aht”) and Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX: WEF) (“Western”) announce that they are working together to explore potential alternative ownership structures in Huu-ay-aht’s traditional territories pursuant to the Reconciliation Protocol Agreement. This collaborative effort may also involve other First Nations with traditional territories in the Alberni Valley over the next several years. Western and Huu-ay-aht both strongly believe that working together will benefit the community, region and forestry sector.

The shared vision of Huu-ay-aht and Western includes a framework for reconciliation and revitalization of the Alberni Valley forest sector. The framework includes increased participation of area First Nations through tenure ownership, employment and business opportunities, sustained domestic manufacturing, increased training and jobs, effective marketing and valued-added product innovation, and strong environmental stewardship.

For further information, please contact:

Babita Khunkhun
Senior Director, Communications
Western Forest Products
(604) 202 4923

Amanda Munro
Munro Thompson Communications Inc.
(604) 360 3994

About Huu-ay-aht First Nations

Huu-ay-aht First Nations is an indigenous community located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. It is a part of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation, formerly called the Nootka. Huu-ay-aht is a party to the Maa-nulth Final Agreement, a modern treaty that grants its five member-nations constitutionally-protected self-government as well as ownership, control and law-making authority over their lands and resources. For more information, visit huuayaht.org.

About Western Forest Products

Western is an integrated Canadian forest products company and the largest coastal British Columbia timberlands operator and lumber producer. The Company has an annual available harvest of approximately 6 million cubic metres of timber, of which 5.8 million cubic metres is from Crown lands. Western has a lumber capacity of approximately 1.1 billion board feet from seven sawmills. Principal activities of the Company include timber harvesting, sawmilling logs into specialty lumber, and value added remanufacturing. With operations and employees primarily on the coast of British Columbia and one location in Washington State, Western is a premier supplier of high-value, specialty forest products to markets worldwide.

Forward-Looking Statements and Information

This news release contains statements and estimates that may constitute forward-looking statements under the applicable securities laws. Readers are cautioned against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All statements herein, other than statements of historical fact, may be forward-looking statements and can be identified by the use of words such as “may”, “explore”, “will”, and similar references to future periods. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, but are not limited to, statements relating to: the potential benefits from the Reconciliation Protocol Agreement the reconciliation framework; forest sector strategy; or long-term revitalization. Although such statements reflect Western management’s current reasonable beliefs, expectations and assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements are accurate, and actual results and performance may materially vary. Many factors could cause our actual results or performance to be materially different including: general economic conditions; changes in annual allowable cut; competition and selling prices; foreign trade disputes; changes in foreign currency exchange rates; labour disruptions; natural disasters; relations with First Nations groups; changes in laws, regulations or public policy; and the factors discussed in Western’s annual information form, which is available on Western’s website at www.westernforest.com. The foregoing list is not exhaustive, as other factors could adversely affect Western’s actual results and performance. Forward-looking statements are based only on information currently available to Western and refer only as of the date hereof. Except as required by law, Western undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.